1
vote
4answers
64 views

meaning of “yet” “as if”

I don't understand the second part of this sentence: The Berlin Congress of 1878 and the first set of frontiers drawn on maps ignored key components of local life, and yet they were drawn as ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Two imperative clauses joined by coordinating conjunction taken as a conditional

I would be inclined to parse the sentence "Nobody move and nobody get hurt" as two commands: Nobody move. Nobody get hurt. In other words, this is equivalent to "Nobody move or get hurt" (for ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Conjunction when one element contains another

I write a paper that defines a certain algorithm on geometric shapes. I have a sentence similar to the following: If the input to the algorithm is connected, convex or rectangular, then its output ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

Meaning of “I have three books and CDs”

I have three books and CDs. Does this mean I have three books and three CDs? Or are there three items in total? Are both possible? I am asking for a native speaker's opinion.
0
votes
2answers
118 views

What does a sentence like “Little if…but…” mean?

I've read it in a news report, "Little if any news will be released during the event(China reform summit), but official news agency Xinhua traditionally issues a dispatch on the last day." Well, I ...
2
votes
2answers
285 views

“As [adjective] as a [noun]” vs “as [adjective] a [noun] as there”

How does the meaning differ for the following two sentences? Even then, the subject seemed as fascinating a problem as there could be. Even then, the subject seemed as fascinating as a ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Does an adjective apply to both nouns when joined with 'and'?

Can you grab the blue shirts and socks? Is the above sentence stating that both the shirts and the socks are blue? Or only the shirts? At this stage, I am leaning towards the earlier (only the ...
0
votes
2answers
683 views

“However” vs. “on the contrary” [closed]

I would like to get some advice on the difference in meaning between the following sentences. It is true that there have been great advances in technology over the last forty years. especially ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

“And” or “but” in this sentence from CNN?

She may be one of Hollywood's highest-paid women but Charlize Theron is using her star power to help prevent the spread of HIV in her homeland of South Africa. That is a sentence from the ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

“or” versus “xor” in English [duplicate]

If a said to b "do this or that", would b be disobeying a if it did both? In others words, in English is "or" the same as xor, the exclusive or?
0
votes
2answers
239 views

How is “so” used in this sentence?

I found this text in one of my reading. I wonder what the role of so in the text because I find it hard to translate into my language. Since I am a teacher of and consultant in engineering and ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“because of” vs. “on account of”

Can I always replace “because of” with “on account of”? As in I could not enjoy the day because of the awful weather. I could not enjoy the day on account of the awful weather. If these two ...
-4
votes
3answers
82 views

“Be without money and job” vs. “be without money or job”

If I want to express that someone is without money and also without a job, how do I phrase it correctly? He's without money and job. He's without money or job. Please explain your ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“Still” and “Yet” as Conjunctions

I know there are already many posts on still and yet, but I really find it difficult to use them as conjunction as in following sentences: It's a small car, yet/still it's surprisingly ...
3
votes
4answers
557 views

Can “as soon as” ever mean “immediately after”?

Does as soon as mean "immediately after" in the following sentence? He got home as soon as 2 hours. I know that this could be a tad messy without context, but I found it as an example with the ...
2
votes
2answers
875 views

Does “or” mean both conditions?

We are ordinary Russian folks playing an English board game and came across this sentence: You may splay your green or blue cards left. We expected that it meant you must choose only one card ...
0
votes
3answers
445 views

Is “tell neither X nor Y” equivalent to “not tell both X and Y” or “not tell either X and Y”? [closed]

Given the sentence "John told neither the boss nor the secretary.", which of the following has the same meaning? John did not tell both the boss and the secretary. John did not tell either ...
1
vote
1answer
265 views

“As smart as you may be” means “However smart you may be”?

As smart as you may be, there are always difficult problems making you in trouble. In this sentence does "As smart as you may be" mean "No matter how smart you may be"? So, the first as is a ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Use of “Or”, inclusive or exclusive?

My wife and I are playing a game where you roll dice and move so many spaces in a grid "vertically or horizontally". In the use of English it is very common to say, this or the other when it comes ...
0
votes
1answer
198 views

How to interpret a statement consisting of two ORs?

I found this statement on a newspaper that is the subject of a recent controversy: "no guarantee or loan shall be given or raised by the Government except under the authority of any resolution ...
-2
votes
1answer
53 views

The range of attributive

I have a clause from DirectX SDK as below: The position, velocity, and orientation of sound sources and listeners in 3D space are represented by Cartesian coordinates what's the range of world ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

“Can’t help but” vs. “can help but”

Is "can’t help but" considered to be a confused mix of the expressions "can but" and "can’t help"? If not, what is the difference between "can help but" and "can’t help but"?
1
vote
1answer
225 views

“Who cares [if/that] it [is/isn't] true” — which to use when?

Imagine the following scenario: Person A: I love this movie so much! The story is so beautiful! Person B: Well, the story isn't true. Now, person A has a few options in how to follow the ...
7
votes
4answers
329 views

How should I understand “Although” in this sentence?

The following is an excerpt from a passage in Scientific American: Paleoanthropology has come a long way since Georges Cuvier, the French natural historian and founder of vertebrate paleontology, ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Conjunction use: “and” or “or” in list of examples

When giving a list of examples, it seems to me "and" should be used because all the items in the list are examples, not just one of the items: I love fruit (e.g., apples, oranges, and bananas). ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Appointed as” or just “appointed”?

Is it more correct to say a) John was appointed as manager of ACME. or b) John was appointed manager of ACME. Or are they interchangeable?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is using “I don't know that” instead of “I don't know if” grammatically correct?

When asked whether he recognized equal rights of atheists, George H. W. Bush said1: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This ...
5
votes
2answers
598 views

You are all “but” forced to do something instead of something else

What is the grammatical usage of "but" in this sentence? You are all but forced to use them instead of standard C++ Could we ignore "but" and yet convey the same meaning? You are all forced ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a difference between “what if” and “if”

My English teacher asked me what's the difference between what if and if last week. I can't search anything about that. What only I know is what if is a question sentence. And if is a general(?) ...
0
votes
4answers
238 views

“Virtual work and fun environments”

I am trying to write a sentence in English, even though it is not my native language. So I would like to know if it is possible to write Those are virtual work and fun environments. in order to ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Should” cannot replace “if?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Are “should” and “if” interchangeable at the beginning of a sentence? A special use of “should”? For sentences that begin with ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Can “as” ever properly mean “because”?

We often encounter as used to mean because. As we know, as is not merely ambiguous: it’s hexiguous or octiguous. I’m especially uncomfortable when I find the usage in a technical paper1, where ...
3
votes
1answer
897 views

Interpreting the meaning of 'but' as an implication for exclusion/inclusion

I often find it difficult to interpret the meaning of but in some of the sentences where it is used to imply exclusion/inclusion. For example: Drink everything you want but alcohol. Also, sometimes ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

The construction of “Known but to God”

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider has the engraving "KNOWN BUT TO GOD", as presumably no man knows his name, but shouldn't it read "unknown, but to God", as the default for everyone is "unknown", with ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Need help understanding phrases of the form “x if y”

I regularly find myself confused by phrases of the form "x if y". For example, in the 2010-10-22 issue of his newsletter, Paul Thurrott writes: Well, if you're Wall Street Journal technology maven ...